How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

December 10, 2018

 

There's a saying I've been hearing thrown around lately: Everyone is a photographer.

It's true that more and more people are jumping into this profession, and I think that's great! I'm one of them, obviously.

So, as a couple getting married, how do you decide who to photograph your wedding when there are so many options?

I've got some tips to help you choose!

 

1. Do you like them?

 

Yes, I'm putting this before any other factor. 

Your wedding photographer is the vendor that you're going to be spending the most time with during your wedding day. They're going to be with you for the most intimate moments of the day. 

Liking your photographer is super important, which is why I try to schedule a phone call or in-person meeting with all of my clients before they book. 

You're going to be spending hours with this person, so you want to be sure your personalities mesh well. See if you have a similar sense of humor, if you both like tacos, if you both got too obsessed with Stranger Things (I know it wasn't just me!). 
Whatever it is, the best photographer/client relationships are the ones where everyone is comfortable around each other!

 

2. Do you trust them?

 

A lot of people will have a friend photograph their wedding because they already know and like them, but the third factor (of the know, like, and trust sales pipeline), is super important. 

Can you trust this person to capture all parts of your day?

Wedding photography is couples photography, family photography, event photography, product photography, and documentary photography all in one. You want to know that your photographer feels comfortable capturing every part of the day from the beautifully lit portraits to the tricky low light first dance. 

Can you trust this person to deal with whatever happens the day of?

Wedding photography is not easy, which is why I spent a few years just shooting portraits and learned all the fundamentals before I jumped in. 

Now I know exactly what lens to use to get the effect I want, where I need to place everyone to get the best lighting, when I need to supplement the natural light with flash, and how to modify that flash so that it still looks as natural as possible.
Not only does your photographer need to be technically competent, they need to be able to go with the flow of whatever happens on a wedding day— like the ceremony getting moved indoors at the last minute or portraits running late because hair and makeup took longer than expected. 

 

3. Do you like the way they pose people?

 

This is a big thing that can be easy to overlook. You may not be able to put your finger on why you like one photographer more than the other, but likely it's due to their posing style or lack there of. 

I always try to make my photos look as much like natural moments as possible, so I don't do a ton of traditional poses. 

I get the standard shots of everyone looking to camera but then I try to move into more fun prompts that give some variety. 

When working with groups I'll have them yell out what they're most looking forward to eating, or look at the person with the best laugh- silly little prompts that don't require much thought and get a laugh or two.

When I work with couples, I incorporate a lot of movement. Most of my poses involve walking and looking at each other in some variation- pretend you're drunk, bump hips, when you hit a certain point pull each other in for a kiss, etc.

My goal with pretty much every prompt is to elicit some kind of natural emotion. I'd much rather make you actually laugh then just tell you to fake laugh at me. 

 

4. Do you like their editing style?

 

This is another big one. You want to make sure that you like the way your photographer makes things look.

Some photographers stay true to life with colors while others like to mix things up and create a whole new look.

There are as many different editing styles as there are photographers, but the main ones that are popular right now are:

Bright & Airy

This style is brighter, uses more light backgrounds, and tends to depict real life colors.
Dark & Moody
This style is a little darker and more dramatic. It tends to be more desaturated and may have a grainy look, mimicking film. 

My Style

I tend to edit more on the bright and airy side, but I like to give my photos a bit more warmth, contrast, and a little boost of saturation if I think it's necessary. I keep my colors pretty true to life. Especially for weddings, I try to make my edits look as timeless and classic as possible. 

 

I hope this helps you out in choosing your wedding photographer. I know that you have so many choices to make when planning your wedding and it can be stressful. Hopefully, you feel super confident and excited with whatever photographer you decide to work with. 

 

If you'd like to see more of my wedding photography, you can check out my wedding photography galleries.

Feel free to email me at kelsey@kelseyhaleymedia.com if you have any questions about choosing a wedding photographer or if you'd like to inquire about booking me!

 

~Kelsey

 

 

 

 

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